There are an estimated 1.3-1.4 million caregiving children ages 8-18 years old in the U.S. Of these, 38% provide care for a grandparent and 34% provide care for a parent - Young Caregivers in the U.S.; National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) & United Hospital Fund, 2005.
Nationally, there are an estimated 36.5 million caregiving households in which 37% of participants (13.5 million) also had children under the age of 18 years living at home - Caregiving in the U.S; NAC/AARP, 2009.
Of 1,626 sixth grade students surveyed in five Palm Beach County middle schools in 2008, 563 are caregivers; 344 have significant caregiving responsibilities. Caregiving youth project survey results, 2009. www.aacy.org.
The 2000 U.S. Census shows that 6.1 million children live in a home with a grandparent. Census, 2008.
"Not every child gets 18 years of childhood. Some have to become responsible adults well before their bodies grow into maturity." How to help youth caregivers: Children caring for sick relatives need some attention of their own. Ryan. Contemporary Pediatrics, March 1, 2008.
"By 2006 there was only one dedicated initiative, the Caregiving Youth Project, in Boca Raton, Florida, compared with over 350 projects in the UK." Global perspectives on children's unpaid caregiving in the family: research and policy on young carers in the UK, Australia, the USA and Sub-Saharan Africa. Becker. Global Social Policy. 2007; 7: 23-50.
More than 25% of all public school children, grades 6-12 in Palm Beach County, incurred adverse effects on their education as a result of caregiving - What Works Survey Final Report. Miller, Bunker, & Kelley-Miller, 2003.
"The main reason why children undertake inappropriate caring roles is a lack of adequate support services for their ill/disabled relatives. If appropriate and adequate support services are not provided, most of the care and support required falls to family members." Statistical profiles of young carers. Centre for Child and Family Research. Evidence Issue 3; Aldridge & Becker, 2003.